Carper Statement on Selection of Judge Kavanaugh to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement regarding President Trump’s announcement that he will nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Upon Justice Kennedy’s retirement, Senator Carper noted that, in adherence to the McConnell Standard, he was not prepared to move forward with any nominee until the American people have had their say in November. 

“Picking a nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court is not a reality show. It should not be a choice outsourced to ideologues like those at the Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society. Picking and reviewing a Supreme Court nominee should not be a hurried process – it should be thoughtful and deliberative. That is especially true when the stakes are this high. The next Supreme Court justice will make decisions that will affect our democracy, our economy and our environment for generations to come. 

“Leader McConnell has said that he wants the Senate to move swiftly to consider Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, despite the precedent he set when he led a yearlong blockade of Judge Merrick Garland – an eminently qualified and consensus pick. But, unlike in 2016, we are considering another Trump nominee just four months before a national election that could shift control of Congress. Our president’s 2016 campaign is currently under investigation – an investigation that has led to an ever-growing list of guilty pleas and criminal indictments. The balance of our nation’s highest court is at stake.

“If Leader McConnell insists on rushing this nominee through before the American people can have their say in November, then Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy must be thoroughly vetted in the public eye. The Senate must hold Judge Kavanaugh accountable for his deeply concerning record over the past 12 years on the bench. In the years that Judge Kavanaugh has served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, he has revealed his true colors, and his substantial record over that time period has proven to be a profound disappointment. The American people must be given a real opportunity to understand clearly how Judge Kavanaugh views the most important issues of our time. We should do what Leader McConnell so shamefully refused to do for Judge Garland.

“Unlike in the case of Merrick Garland, Judge Kavanaugh’s extreme record over the last 12 years stands in stark contrast to what the majority of the American people want. Overwhelmingly, the American people support protections for those living with pre-existing conditions. They support women having the freedom to make their own health care decisions and the freedom for people to marry the person they love. They support the right to privacy and equal access to the voting booth. They support independent checks on executive power. I have yet to meet a Delawarean who doesn’t want to ensure that their family can breathe clean air and drink clean water. With the stakes so high and Americans’ stances on these critical issues so clear, I say without hesitation: bring on the fight.”